Decreasing carbon dioxide emissions from major stationary sources is firmly on the Australian agenda and carbon capture and storage (CCS) is seen as a vital part of the national mitigation portfolio. There are now a number of CCS demonstration projects underway or planned and several major commercial CCS projects proposed for Australia.
The Australian Government has begun a process for permitting offshore CO2 storage.
Callide Oxyfuel Project, Queensland
This demonstration project involves conversion of an existing 30MW unit at Callide A. Generation of electricity in oxy-firing mode began in March 2012, with capture of CO2 commencing later in the year. A second stage of the project may involve the injection and storage of captured CO2. Cost estimate is AUD$206 million. The project involves CS Energy, IHI, Schlumberger, Mitsui, J-Power and Xstrata, with extra funding from the Australian Coal Association (ACA) and the Australian, Queensland and Japanese Governments.
CarbonNet Project, Victoria (CCS Flagship Project)
This is an integrated multi-user capture, transport and storage infrastructure project. The CarbonNet Project aims to capture carbon emissions from power plants, industrial processes and new coal-based industries in Victoria's Latrobe Valley and store it in nearby geological basins. In February 2012, the CarbonNet Project was announced as the second Commonwealth of Australia CCS Flagships Program project selected for funding through the feasibility stage, receiving an additional AUD$70 million of funding from the Commonwealth and AUD$30 million from the State of Victoria.
South West Hub Project, Western Australia (CCS Flagship Project Proposal)
This project, which is being co-ordinated by the state of Western Australia, aims to initially store up to 2.4 Mtpa of CO2 captured from industry and power plants southwest of Perth. AUD$52 million of funding under the Australian Government's CCS Flagship Program will be used for a detailed storage viability study of the Lesueur sandstone formation in the onshore Perth Basin and a community consultation program. Partners in the project are the West Australian Government, Perdaman Chemicals and Fertilisers, Verve Energy, The Griffin Group, Wesfarmers Premier Coal, BHP Billiton and Alcoa.
CO2CRC Otway Project, Victoria
This is Australia's only operational storage demonstration project. From 2008, 65,000 tonnes of CO2-rich gas was injected into a 2km-deep depleted gas field. A major program of monitoring and verification has been implemented. In 2011, researchers developed the world's first single well test to determine storage capacity in deep saline formations by completing a series of injections via a new well to test residual trapping. The AUD$60 million project, which is supported by 15 companies and 7 government agencies, involves researchers from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Korea and the USA. Partners include major gas, coal and power companies, research organisations and governments. Additional financial support is provided by the Australian Government (RET), the Victorian Government and the US DOE through Lawrence Berkeley National Labroratory.
Gorgon Project, Western Australia
Chevron (operator), Shell and Exxon are in advanced planning for a major sequestration project linked to the Gorgon LNG Project. The separated CO2 will be injected under Barrow Island to a depth of about 2.4km, with injection of 3.3 million tonnes of CO2 per year. A total of 120 million tonnes will be injected over the life of the project. A data well has been drilled and a major study of the subsurface is underway. All government approvals have been granted and the final investment decision for the project to proceed has been made. A contract has been awarded to GE for the injection units. The storage component of the project will cost approximately AUD$2 billion.
International Power Carbon Capture Plant, Victoria
A post-combustion capture plant is operating at the International Power GDF Suez Hazelwood Power Station. The solvent capture plant began operation in 2009 and is capturing and chemically sequestering CO2 at a nominal rate of 10,000 tpa of CO2. This project is partly funded by the Australian and Victorian Governments.
H3 Capture Project, Hazelwood, Victoria (Completed)
This project, led by CO2CRC, was based at the International Power GDR Suez Hazelwood plant and exploited synergies with the Hazelwood Carbon Capture plant. CO2CRC tested a range of solvents and different process configurations using the solvent post-combustion capture plant. Post-combustion techniques using adsorbent and membrane technologies continue to be tested at the facility using two purpose-built rigs.
Loy Yang Project, Victoria
A CSIRO mobile pilot post-combustion capture facility is operating at Loy Yang Power Station and is capturing around 1000 tpa of CO2. The facility is investigating a range of solvent technologies for CO2 capture.
CO2CRC/HRL Mulgrave Capture Project, Victoria (Completed)
CO2 emissions were captured from HRL's research gasifier at Mulgrave in a pilot-scale CO2CRC pre-combustion capture project. Three capture technologies were evaluated to identify the most cost-effective for use in a coal gasification power plant. Partners included CO2CRC and HRL with funding from the Victorian Government.
CO2CRC Uno Mk 3 Project
CO2CRC is using a dedicated capture plant at the International Power GDF Suez Hazelwood Power Station to develop CO2CRC's innovative potassium carbonate capture system. Funding from the Victorian Government and BCIA supports the project.
Munmorah PCC Project, New South Wales (Completed)
This research scale pilot project investigated the post-combustion capture ammonia absorption process, and the ability to adapt it to suit Australian conditions. Tests capturing up to 3000 tonnes of CO2 have been successfully completed. Partners involved in this project were Delta Electricity, CSIRO and the ACA. A larger scale demonstration project, incorporating geological storage, is under consideration.
Tarong PCC Project, Queensland
CSIRO and Tarong Energy have installed a post-combustion capture pilot plant using an amine-based solvent at Tarong Power Station near Kingaroy, Queensland. The pilot plant will capture 1000 tpa of CO2 over a two-year research program. The plant became operational in December 2010. The cost of the project is AUD$5 million.
Surat Basin CCS Project, Queensland (CCS Flagship Proposal)
Stanwell and Xstrata Coal are seeking to identify suitable storage sites in the Surat Basin of Queensland.